In Brief

Prince Andrew faces more questions over Kazakh links

Leaked emails allege Duke of York was 'involved' in sale of his £15m Sunningdale Park home to oligarch Timur Kulibayev

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The Duke of York's links to Kazakhstan have come under scrutiny again after new details emerged about the 2007 sale of his marital home.

Leaked emails uncovered by the Daily Mail claim "the Prince was far more involved in the sale than previously admitted".

The claims relate to Prince Andrew's former mansion, Sunninghill Park, in Berkshire, which was sold to Kazakh oligarch Timur Kulibayev for £15m - £3m above the asking price, despite having languished on the market for five years. 

The house reportedly stood empty following the sale before being demolished last October, says The Independent.

The Mail also claims that Andrew's aide at the time attempted to lease adjoining fields from the Crown Estate at a very low, "peppercorn" rent for Kulibayev, the son-in-law of Kazakh dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev, and that the Prince had tried to arrange for the Queen's bank, Coutts, to take him on as a client.

"Prince Andrew has very questionable tastes when it comes to his business relationships," said former Foreign Office minister Chris Bryant.

Buckingham Palace has previously said: "The sale of Sunninghill Park was a straight commercial transaction between the trust which owned the house and the trust which bought it.

"There were no side deals and absolutely no arrangement from the Duke of York to benefit otherwise or to commit to any other commercial arrangement.

"Any suggestion otherwise is completely false."

The latest disclosures follow claims that Andrew also helped a Greek sewage company and a Swiss finance house pursue a £385m contract in Kazakhstan. According to the Daily Telegraph, the unsuccessful deal "would allegedly have seen Prince Andrew benefit from a £4m commission".

A spokesman for the Duke denied he had helped any private organisation to pursue business in Kazakhstan. 

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